GO FIGURE: BRAVES 6, PADRES 5. (by coop)

The bullpen did not blow this game, nosiree Bob. We lost this game fair and square. Then we didn’t. Go figure.

Padres went up five-zip, knocking Mike Foltynewicz out in the top of the sixth. Big Game James outpitched Folty through five. Given our druthers, we’d still rather have Folty than Shields because this year we’re not going to win anyway; and Folty’s going to be around a lot longer than Shields. Maybe. I sure as heck hope so. Tonight, though, Folty was not good.

We tied the Pads in the bottom of the sixth, with a little help from the Padres. More than a little. The Padres’ defense let Shields down, but BGJ threw the pitches that Andrelton ripped for a three- run double and Jonny Gomes hit for the game-tying single.

Yep, Jonny Gomes got the game-tying hit off a right-handed pitcher. I kid you not. Braves couldn’t score, so neither Folty nor BGJ figured in the decision.

Away from the game, David Justice was the Braves’ best player tonight through the first five innings; and he didn’t swing the bat once. He told some good stories though, some that made me think he’s lurking on the Journal. Specifically, he told Bobby Cox stories that pretty much underlined the debate that’s been cooking on Braves Journal.

“When we won,” said DJ of Bobby, “it was because of us. When we lost, it was because of him.”

Justice also talked about how Cox protected his players: “He’s coming out to protect you.” Justice made Bobby Cox sound just like Fredi.

Here’s a couple of other things you probably already know but I think are worth repeating. The Padres bullpen had not allowed a run on their current road trip.

The Braves bullpen, on the other hand, has allowed the most runs of any MLB pen.

Another: Hank Aaron was the first player listed in the Baseball Encyclopedia until David Aardsma made it to the bigs. Now Aardsma is ahead of Hank on the Braves player list too.

Andrelton Simmons was charged with an error on a grounder deep in the hole, even though Juan Uribe screened him and the play, if completed, would have been another yawner on Simba’s 2015 highlight reel. The boy suffers under a load of expectations.

Andrelton had two hits tonight, driving in three runs and scoring once. Because of the expectations, he’ll likely be blamed for flying out with the bases loaded and two out in the seventh. Andruw would understand.

Jonny Gomes is not going to win a gold glove. He still shouldn’t bat against right-handed pitchers, despite the acorn he found tonight.

Aardsma, Avilan and Cunniff followed Folty. They were productive big league relief pitchers tonight. Good on them. Because they didn’t suck, the Braves went into the bottom of the seventh tied at five.

Jim Johnson was given the eighth. First batter he faced was Melvin Upton. Walk. You can’t be too careful with those sub-.200 hitters. Will Venable came up next. Can of corn to Cameron, one out. Norris next. Derek not Chuck. Melvin stole second, went to third when Betty threw the ball to the outfield. Norris bounced to Uribe, who threw Upton out at the plate, thanks to an Andrelton-like slide. Melvin being BJ.

Meanwhile, Norris is at first; and the real Upton’s at bat. Justin grounds out, Uribe to Freeman. The Braves are still alive, 5-5.

Joey T! Home run! (Pizza on Joey.) Braves lead 6-5. Joey’s first major league home run might be worth a little more playing time. What do you think, Fredi?

Top of the ninth, fire up the Grill.

Matt Kemp grounds out to short. That’s one. Yonder Alonso doubles to the right field corner. Here we go again. Yangervis Solarte pops out to Andrelton!! That’s two. Cory Spangenberg, tonight’s goat, seeks redemption. Grilli throws the ball to the backstop. Amarista to third. I need a drink.

Spangenberg walks, runners on first and third. Clint Barmes at the plate: STRIKE OUT! BRAVES WIN! BRAVES WIN!

Go figure.

93 thoughts on “GO FIGURE: BRAVES 6, PADRES 5. (by coop)”

  1. I believe Melvin would have scored on an Andrelton-like slide, and Norris might end up on second.

  2. Went to Yankee Stadium tonight & a friend texted me this from Turner Field: “Terdo-Powered!”

    Saw the Yanks snuff out the Nats, despite a pretty impressive bomb to LCF from Harper. It barely made it over the fence, but it went a mile in the air. Quite a crack of the bat. (He’s still a punk, though.)

    I go to Yankee games all the time & I rarely care who wins, unless it’s a team that might impact the Braves (like the Nats or the Mets). So I felt OK rooting for the Pinstripes tonight.

    Was quite a pitchers duel (Tanaka/Scherzer) until Desmond made a throwing error & the Nats ‘pen began to channel the Braves relief corp. They were rather flammable.

    But seems like the real pitching performance was delivered in Queens tonight.

  3. Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a WIN! Of the comeback variety no less!
    You know – I was going to post yesterday to call rock bottom for the pen… Not because they’re great pitchers or anything, just that no set of pitchers can continue to be so consistently terrible and anti-clutch as the Braves pen has been over the last month +. We’ll see how that prediction holds up.

    I would also like to add that I definitely checked out of BJ over the last week due to the nasty (and repetitive) tone that had developed on here. Hopefully a win, and several scoreless pen innings – is just what we need to clear the air.

  4. coop…

    much more of this level of reportage my friend and we shall expect to see your name soon alongside Lardner’s! A style all your own, a pleasure to the ear.

    ububba…

    I always enjoy what you write, be it on the Gotham scene or on your varied travels but do we really need to continue qualifying any positive remarks on Harper with the p word?

    It tends to be a default setting here for some which pains at this early hour for two reasons… the guy is young – remember back – and his off field power in particular seems extraordinary. As far as we know there is no PED, he doesn’t lie,he not a fraud, he has the courage to be different in a grey, grey world. Can we avoid the unnecessary, the personal?

  5. @2 – another error for Desmond. Wow, his hands have turned to stone.

    Of course, we stole a win that we had no business getting last night. Now I hope the Bravos can leverage it into some kind of mini-streak.

  6. Is Flying Spaghetti Monster a reference to Jason Grilli’s hair? It’s the only thing that makes sense to me.

  7. The Nationals defense has been staggeringly bad this year, with Desmond leading the way. They’ve had an incredible number of not just errors in the scorebook, but mental lapses. In many ways, they’re more excruciating to watch than the 2015 Braves, because they spent hundreds of millions of dollars and are supposed to be the best team in baseball.

    Be thankful that Matt Williams is not managing our team.

  8. @9, Strasburg is just mystifying to me. He can’t strand runners to save his life. Maybe a bunch of that is on the defense.

  9. @7, Flying Spaghetti Monster is the deity in the farcical religion of Pastafarianism, which is a construct of militant atheists for the purpose of mocking religious faith; i.e., believing in a deity is akin to believing in the most absurd thing imaginable.

    When people reference the FSM, they are ridiculing people of religious faith. The FSM is a favorite of Richard Dawkins, the world’s most influential (and perhaps most militant) atheist.

    Granted, the mental image is quite funny, but make no mistake–the intent is to offend.

  10. Since Uribe and CJ are now the 2 guys at 3rd I see KJ as outfield only. That would imply Terdo or Cunningham. It would be really sad to send down Joey T after his first career home run which was a game winner. Personally I would send Opie down but I guess that would leave us without a backup center fielder. After a crazy hot start Opie can’t be hitting above 150

  11. #5
    Sorry, blazon, but I can’t. No. I’m a fan & that’s my default on him until he stops acting so petulantly. When Julio Teheran dusts his ass, I cheer, full-stop.

    Certain players embody certain personas. Doesn’t make them any less interesting, of course, but in an odd way it goes hand-in-hand with fandom.

    You mention fraudulence. I’ve been watching A-Rod in person for years. As great a player as he’s been, there was something discomfortingly disingenuous about him, how he pranced around like a showhorse, how he played for the cameras, the sheer bullshit he’d tell the press, etc. There’s always been a falseness about him (and I’m not even talking about the PED stuff), so every time WFAN host Steve Somers calls him “A-Fraud” I crack a small smile with no apologies because it rings true to me.

    Another example, saw the Brewers play the other day & that meant Carlos Gomez. Guy’s a hot-dog all day long. He points, he struts, he accentuates 2nd-inning base-hits like he just won the World Series. He’s annoying. He acts like a snotty Little Leaguer. If somebody wants to come up with a cutting nickname for him, it also would ring true & I’d be fine with that as well.

    At the end of the day, I’m calling Bryce Harper a punk on a baseball blog, not throwing batteries at him from the bleachers.

    If people wanna cheer him or respect him for his hustle or whatever, that’s fine, too. Ain’t keeping me up nights. Baseball fans need villains, just like nations need enemies. If they don’t exist, we’ll invent them.

  12. @4, looks like you picked the wrong day to quit sniffing glue/come back to Braves Journal

  13. @16

    quite agree on A-Rod…fraudulent…a wholly extra dimension to the likes of Harper…an object of derision and rightly so…

    Gomez? ok…not a bad player but nothing exceptional to soften his strutting..

    Harper now…exceptional talent, no fraud…you’re a baseball lifer well aware of his special skill set yet you’re justifying the ongoing use of a pejorative noun (it’s NOT a nickname is it – it’s a generic term of abuse)…you seemed to have added it almost as an afterthought after you had praised him as a player…

    cheers.

  14. Maybe we should go all pro wrestling, and agree that Bryce Harper is the ultimate Heel, and that Freddie Freeman is the baby-iest of babyfaces?

    I can see it now – Harper striding to the plate in the 9th, just as the ump is raising his hand to signal strike three, he whips out a folding chair and brains the home plate umpire. Then, as the ump groggily signals a ball, Grilli loses control, and finally throws a meatball down the middle that Harper figure fours into the stands.

  15. Well ububba also forgot to mention the hilarious quintessential Bryce Harper moment from that game, which was when he attempted a bunt with two strikes and fouled it back to the backstop. Harper, who’s fighting for the league home run lead right now, struck out on a bunt attempt. That pretty much perfectly encapsulates everything you need to know about the other side of Bryce Harper, as far as I’m concerned.

  16. Re Desmond’s error, yes, he’s a terrible defender, maybe the worst SS in the league, but that was a tough error. He made a great diving play to keep it in the infield and then had no real lane to throw it to third because of the runner and where Rendon set up. Could have been scored a hit.

    Alex R is right — the Nats are playing really low IQ baseball. Fun to watch.

    Speaking of dives, watching Jonny Gomes run on his fat little legs and dive for a flyball that landed ten feet from where he lands makes me want to drink turpentine. He looked like Chris Farley out there. Can’t we DFA this guy?

  17. Just saw a relay of Andrelton’s play at the plate last night…He really needs to get his sliding under control, because eventually it is going to lead to a catastrophic injury, or a brawl.

  18. @23 seconded. If he was elsewhere, I would find that stuff very easy to hate, instead, I just cringe. He has to get plunked tonight, don’t you think?

  19. @7 – Thanks, Hap. For my own amusement, however, I will persist in thinking of it as a reference to Jason Grilli’s sweaty tendrils.

  20. Simba..

    it seems odd that this ongoing and justified concern with his sliding continues without any apparent formal interference by his Manager…why on earth would there not be, it’s a classic text book case where Management must take over, formally…

    has Fredi read the book d’ya think…Dale Carnegie, w.h.y.?

    of great import is the risk of a season ending injury…surely the F.O. is aware of this?

  21. The thing I don’t get about last night’s Andrelton slide is that he’d have scored easily without any fuss had he just slid to the back point of the plate like Uribe did on the play before. If you’ve gotta break up a double play or go in hard to knock the ball loose, that’s one thing, but delivering a flying knee drop to the hip of the catcher on a play where you should be able to score fairly easily is a bit much.

  22. I love Andrelton. He’s my favorite player ever. That said, I foresee him going Monte Irvin someday if he doesn’t learn how to slide.

  23. Do you guys remember the last two or three years when Joey Terdoslavich was our best hitting prospect throughout the system?

  24. I agree that Simba better get his HBP radar working tonight. I expect a plunking.

  25. #21
    Yeah, that was a very ill-fated attempt to “beat the shift.” Just bad baseball there. I don’t know why he would’ve thought that was a good idea. But the Yankee fan next to me said, “Hey! Thanks!”

    #19
    A generic term of abuse, exactly. (But not really in the prison sense or the Dee Dee Ramone sense, if you know what I mean.) If that’s conduct unbecoming, I’ll cop to it.

    But a guy who, for example, makes a point to wipe out the other club’s logo before an AB, which he did at Turner Field, is displaying childish, punk-like behavior, IMO. Wrestling-heel-worthy, for sure.

  26. @25 – Edward, I like your interpretation as well and going forward any time FSM is referenced here I will probably have the same image conjured up in my mind.

  27. @29&31

    If he gets hit and we do nothing, that should lead for Fredi’s immediate canning.

  28. Catcher had his foot squarely on the plate without the ball. Slide was awkward, but if a hook slide or a hand tag, he would have been tagged out. One of the reasons for the reversal may have been blocking the plate? He was trying to get the available part of the plate and the collision was well nigh unavoidable.

    Like I said, awkward slide but clean and correct baseball play in this guy’s book. His main problem is he slides late.

  29. I watched part of the Driven documentary on bobby cox during the rain delay yesterday. It’s amazing hearing about Bobby’s interactions with players and contrasting them with Fredi’s. Player after player talked about bobby having their back in disputes and how that made them never want to disappoint him.

    For sure, Bobby would’ve called Andrelton into his office about his “sliding” and said “we play the game tough but we play it right” or some such. We can’t know whether Fredi’s had the convo with him, but it’s kind of hard to imagine a bloviator like Fredi having such a frank discussion with an impressionable young player.

  30. ububba…

    you know how they say we conveniently forget the things that tend to contradict our oft stated opinions?

    well, the heel thing…darn it.

  31. Bledsoe, I think you may follow the Nats even closer than I do. If you had to guess, at what point does the management feel they have to turn up the heat by firing a bench coach or something?

    If the Nationals played in New York, The Post would have amusing and insulting nicknames for literally everyone on the field, including Harper. If they played in Philadelphia, they’d get audibly booed at every home game. They’re lucky they play in a town where the two biggest sports are football and Twitter.

  32. Wish Fredi G had twitter so every Braves fan on Twitter could remind him not to start Gomes against RHP.

  33. A very intriguing 20th-rounder for the Braves:

    20 600
    Hellinger, Jaret Ola HS (GA) LHP R/L HS — 6’4″ 165lbs DOB: 11/18/96
    Georgia already had a strong high school crop for the 2015 Draft, and it got stronger when Hellinger surfaced late in the spring. He didn’t take the mound until mid-April, getting a late start because he played basketball and had some minor shoulder issues. A Kennesaw State recruit, Hellinger intrigues scouts with his projectable, athletic body and his feel for pitching. If he gets stronger and realizes his potential, he could be a lefty starter with the ability to throw three solid offerings for strikes. Though he carries just 170 pounds on his 6-foot-3 frame, Hellinger already works at 88-91 mph and reaches 93 with good life and plane on his fastball. His curveball needs more power but has promising depth and he has advanced feel for his changeup. He also shows the aptitude to work both sides of the plate.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/draft/y2015/drafttracker.jsp

  34. @36

    I think you may be confusing the two plays. The catcher had his foot on the plate in the Uribe slide, but Juan got his hand in before the tag somehow anyway. That was originally called an out and overturned. On the Simmons play, the catcher looked to be well in front of the plate when he received the throw and Andrelton was originally called safe. That call was upheld. On that play, he seemed to almost go out of his way a little bit to slide into the catcher.

  35. @39

    “They’re lucky they play in a town where the two biggest sports are football and Twitter.”

    And not in that order either.

  36. Sucks for Terdo, but probably the logical choice. I’d rather send him down than Cunningham.

  37. Terdo sure seems like a quad-A player, but I hope he gets a legit shot with somebody. Switch hitting corner OF’s with 20+ HR power don’t grow on trees.

  38. The Braves don’t have a corner outfielder that can hit 20 homers a year. If Terdo will do it, they should put him in the lineup.

  39. Nick, mebbe I am. Senility.

    Alex — I can’t see them firing a bench coach. For a number of reasons. At the top of the list is that the Lerners are crazy stingy about paying coaches. They wouldn’t want to fire a guy and have to pay his salary. remember Riggleman?

    Second, the Nats FO is basically Animal House Kevin Bacon –“REMAIN CALM! ALL IS WELL!” I can’t see how they can, after going almost full Steinbrenner on the payroll, admit that something is wrong with the Plan. And they can always blame injuries — to Rendon, Werth, Strasburg, Span, Fister.

    Their real problem remains that there is something wrong with the Plan. Strasburg is a head case and may never get right. Gio Gonzalez crumbles when things go bad. Desmond is a iron glove who [they thought ]made up for it with the bat. Now he’s not hitting either. Ryan Zimmerman is toast. His value was as a 3B, where he was maybe a top five offensive 3B. Now he’s a 1B and on top of that he now can’t hit at all. They owe him 60 mil. Werth is hurt, but he was below Mendoza when he went out. They owe him 21 mil this year and the same for the next two years. Scherzer is great, but he’s making 30 mil a year.

    But the stupidity is strong with this team. YEscobar is the winning run in the 9th and tries to steal third with two outs. Ballgame. Harper gets ejected twice in a week arguing balls and strikes. Strasburg didn’t back up home 3 times –in one inning. Throwing balls into the dugout on routine plays. Stuff like that. Like I said, fun to watch.

  40. With the exception of Ray Knight who does the pre and post game show. He’s often wrong (he’s an old school reda$$ – loves it when the Nats drill guys for clean hard baseball plays — called Simba’s slide into Escobar a flat out dirty play) but he will criticize Nationals players, particularly for lack of desire and mental errors. But he’s alone in that regard.

  41. Marcus Giles got sent down after a game-winning grand slam, and look how that turned out!

  42. Now that KJ is back, I hope we do not have to suffer through Gomes starting against any more RHP.

  43. So, our 10th round pick Stephen Moore has to fulfill a 5 year commitment to the Navy before he can pursue pro baseball regularly unless something changes. Not to mention, he is headed to flight school, and the military always has those guys on lock down to be called back in when needed for several years after the initial commitment. Why did we draft that guy in the 10th round?

  44. I can’t think of any better time to start a beanball war than with a runner already on and a pitcher with iffy control on the mound.

  45. I no longer love Chris Johnson. Could he bring us back one of those fungible relievers?

    KJ robs BJ. Nice. Kelly plays better defense than Jonny Gomes,

  46. Kyle Kubitza is 1 for 2 so far today playing third base for the Angels in his big league debut today.

  47. @57,
    Fredi said preseason that you can’t just go straight platoon. “You have to get gomesy in there vs a righty sometimes…,” was what he said–or something similar.

    He rhetorically asked “what if you don’t face a lefty for 2 weeks?”

    Which made sense to me at the time–gotta keep players happy. But that isn’t how he’s been managing it. He’s been playing “gomesy” vs righties more than a nominal amount.

  48. @76, gimme back david hale, dammit

    @72,75, somebody might actually want AJP. They’d have to be mad to trade for Chris Johnson with his glove, bat, and contract

    As much as ppl hate CB around here, his metrics are significantly better than AJP’s

  49. 10 baserunners over five innings and just three runs. Hope that doesn’t come back to haunt us.

  50. I wonder if either of them have a Twitter account. I’m sure many fans would love to congratulate them on this performance tonight.

  51. This Maybin/Peterson–BJ/Kimbrel trade has not benefitted the pads in this series

  52. Could have used that clean inning Monday night, but, oh, well. Let’s get back to .500 tomorrow, guys.

  53. Cameron Maybin is turning in one of our best CF seasons since Andruw. Outside of one great Michael borne year, it’s been ugly out there for a long time: melktoast, McOut, Mudge…shudder

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